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Key Insights from the ENERGY STAR Policy Brief

In the ever-evolving landscape of energy efficiency and environmental conservation, keeping up with the latest building performance policies is crucial. The August 2023 edition of the Building Performance Policy Brief from ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings and Industrial Plants presents a comprehensive overview of recent policy developments that are transforming the way we manage and measure energy consumption in existing commercial and multifamily buildings. Here’s what you need to know:

Recent Building Performance Policies
The nation is witnessing a surge in building performance policies aimed at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. These policies propel the national total of jurisdictions with building performance policies to over 50, marking a significant shift towards energy efficiency and sustainability. Some notable developments include:

  • Minnesota: Annual benchmarking and public disclosure policies starting in June 2025. Exemptions are in place for buildings under specific criteria.
  • Oregon: Energy use intensity benchmarks commencing in 2028.
  • Cambridge, MA: Starting in 2026, building performance standards focused on net greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Madison, WI: Benchmarking and tune-up mandates with a range of flexible compliance alternatives, simplifying the process for fulfilling requirements.

Initial Benchmarking and BPS Deadlines
Building Performance Standards (BPS) are expanding in the U.S., and compliance deadlines are approaching. The first set of deadlines is set as follows:

  • 2023: Indianapolis, IN (June 1), Miami, FL (June 30), and New Jersey (October 1) have their first reporting deadlines for annual benchmarking
  • 2024: Denver, New York, NY, and St. Louis are among the jurisdictions with compliance deadlines.
  • 2025: Boston will join the list.
  • 2026: Washington, DC, St. Louis (affordable housing & houses of worship), and Washington State (rolling compliance) have deadlines.

EPA’s Push for Aggregated Whole-Building Utility Data
EPA is pushing for aggregated whole-building utility data to enhance energy performance analysis. This data, which sums up all owner and tenant consumption and delivers it as a single value, is critical for building owners seeking federal incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act. This helps ensure that building owners can better manage and enhance energy efficiency.

EPA's goal is to create awareness among state policymakers and utilities about the importance of this data.

Planned Enhancements to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is increasingly at the forefront of building performance policy implementation. To further support building owners, managers, and policymakers, the tool is set to undergo significant enhancements. The Inflation Reduction Act's Low Emissions Electricity Program (LEEP) has provided substantial funding for these improvements.

In the coming months, EPA will collaborate with stakeholders to gather input on these enhancements, aiming to make ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager an even more effective and user-friendly tool for building performance tracking and reporting.

In conclusion, the August 2023 Building Performance Policy Brief is a testament to the dynamic changes taking place in building performance policies across the nation. These initiatives not only foster sustainability and energy efficiency but also create a more environmentally responsible future for us all. Stay engaged, stay informed, and be a part of the positive change in building performance and energy efficiency.

Contact MEP today for assistance with your ENERGY STAR, EBEWE Level II Energy Audit, Water Audit and RCx, CA AB 802 Benchmarking, and M-E-P Engineering Design needs! We are EPA-awarded ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and Sustained Excellence Partner of the Year for 8 consecutive years and counting.